It's been called a scavenger hunt for the craft afficianado, a chance to meet artists in their native habitat and a scenic drive along an art-filled byway. Now in its 23rd year, the Over the Mountain Studio Tour, Nov. 10-11, is all of these, and more.
Twenty-five artists and craftspeople collaborate by opening their studios to the public at nine studio stops along a scenic driving route throughout Jefferson County, including stops in and around the charming small towns of Shepherdstown and Charles Town.
The annual weekend of visiting artists in their studios has become one of the Shenandoah Valley's premier arts events. And, with the holiday season approaching, it might be the perfect way to purchase handmade crafts and art of stellar quality and imagination.
"We invite people to come enjoy our hospitality, meet the makers, experience the magic of the creative process, and take home their favorite pieces," said potter Joy Bridy, whose studio is one of the stops on the tour.
There are painters working in oils and watercolor, metal craftspeople presenting sculpted jewelry, and a blacksmith working in iron. Visitors will also discover and get to know artists working in basketry, sculpture, stained glass, photography, pottery and much more. Some of the artisans are steeped in the traditions of American craft, while others push the boundaries of contemporary American handmade crafts.
What all the artists and artisans of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour share is a commitment to exceptional art and the joy of sharing their personal creative journeys with visitors.